Site At the center of Park City, Utah, adjacent to the existing Kimball Art Center, where Main Street intersects Heber Avenue, a gateway to the city.

Program A 30,000-square-foot renovation and addition containing administrative offices, educational rooms, galleries, dining facilities, and support areas, with 6,000 square feet of accessible roof space.

Solution Alluding to the mining history of Park City, with its log buildings and mine enclosures, this six-level addition to a newly renovated art center features a log envelope that twists as it rises from its rectangular site to face visitors as they enter the city on the diagonal axis further up Heber Avenue. The addition’s 80-foot height matches that of the city’s iconic Coalition Building, which burned to the ground in 1982.

The stacked, 20-inch-square timbers, pinned together with steel rods, support an interior log stair that twists its way up to the green roof. Operable skylights induce stack-effect ventilation and illuminate the log walls, recalling the area’s former timber-lined mine shafts. An internal steel frame reinforces the log enclosure and supports an inner structure of temperature-controlled offices and exhibition spaces, while the concrete shear walls in the elevator-and-stair core resist seismic and wind loads. A dining area overlooks a new terrace on the roof of the existing art center, whose renovation includes education and exhibition spaces surrounding a central, two-story performance stage.

The jurors all responded to different parts of the building. Juror Joan Soranno admired the Piranesi-like interior, which she called “really, really beautiful.” Juror Reed Kroloff praised the “twisting form, which goes over the street,” to which juror John Frane added, “a log does that better than a lot of other materials we’ve seen twisting.” And the uncanniness of the exterior led juror Steven Ehrlich to exclaim, “I wish my Lincoln Log set had done that!”

Renovation and Expansion of Kimball Art Center
Location  Park City, Utah
Client  Kimball Art Center
Architect  BIG, Copenhagen—Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen (partners-in-charge); Leon Rost (project leader); Terrence Chew, Suemin Jeon, Chris Falla, Andreia Teixeira, Ho Kyung Lee (design team)
Consultants  Architectural Nexus, Dunn Associates, Van Boerum & Frank Associates, Envision Engineering, Big D Construction
Size  30,000 square feet
Cost  Withheld